In the debate on income inequality earlier this year, David Madland advocated for unions in arguing that income inequality is a threat to american democracy. Research done by four economists; Henry Farber, Daniel Herbst and Ilyana Kuziemko of Princeton, and Suresh Naidu of Columbia found that unions are in fact a potential force against growing income inequality.
“While the scholars can’t pinpoint the precise mechanism at work, they speculate that unions have indirectly increased pay at firms nervous that their own employees might organize. Unions have also lobbied for higher minimum wages and pushed to hold down executive salaries. They have also advocated for broader access to health care, countering a key channel through which income inequality can harm all of society.”